Magnetic Mountains


What draws us into their cathedral like architecture, looming formidably above us, devoid of staircases and easy ascents. Furthermore, what pulls us back after incident in these very ranges, where the fragility of life is ever present. Revisit - route (PC Lukasz Warzecha)Picture Credit – Lukasz Warzecha

Magnetic Mountains sets out to raise questions we as an outdoor community and media often choose to neglect. Following the story of Steve Wakeford attempting to climb a face of the formidable Les Petites Jorasses, when one single act changes the course of his life. Falling 70 meters down an ice gully and surviving the fall, breaking his leg, shoulder blade and experiencing multiple further injuries, this independent production follows Steve’s rehabilitation back into the mountains.Steve Accident (PC- Nick Draper)Picture Credit – Nick Draper

Yet, where it sets itself apart is a lack of for want of a better word, adventure porn, chosing to focus on the psychology of the aftermath and speaking to medical experts and leading figures in the alpine community, posing many questions rarely seen on camera before.

There is no bravado, high fives and “Yeeeaaaoo!” whilst lazing on a portaledge, instead minute by minute, the viewer slowly peels back the layers of Steve and a passion that is known for it’s severe consequences. In doing so, bringing other mountain sports into the mix and really showing that these fixes, feelings and emotions are perfectly human, despite many outing such individuals from society. Steve Wheelchair (PC- Everyfield Collection)Picture Credit – Everyfield Production Collection

Featuring Sir Chris Bonnington, Tommy Caldwell, Nick Bullock, Paul Pritchard and many other figure heads in sport, all offer their own perspectives and feelings.

For me, Magnetic Mountains is long overdue.

Not from a production perspective, but from the industry. Celebrating adventure and documenting a great climb, run or race has its merits, however looking at the reasoning for why we do so in the first place raises many questions, while providing a closer knowledge of oneself in the mountains. If anything, it made me a little vulnerable whilst watching the film, as I too questioned my motives and looked outside of my own perspective.

I won’t spoil the ending, my own findings or Steve’s learning and revelations discovered over the 3 year period.

I thoroughly recommend you watch the trailer and go on to consume the entire film. Magnetic Mountains is different from the norm and very much like societies view of risk takers, I wholeheartedly recommend experiencing something different from the norm.


*Magnetic Mountains was purchased via Kickstarter. Everyfield Production has no way endorsed or sponsored this review*